Rev. Peta Evans, a non-binary transgender person, has made history by becoming a pastor at a church in Brighton, England. The Village Metropolitan Community Church isn't your ordinary church, however: LGBTQ people created it to have a place of worship where they'd feel included, Pink News reports.
"Returning to Brighton, I am excited to serve again in the community which first welcomed me and supported me in both my ministry journey and my gender transition," Evans said in a statement to Pink News. "I would love to see the sincere passion and integrity of The Village MCC reach out even more widely to people of all ages, gender identities, and walks of life."
Evans plans to use their position of power to change the way people interpret the Bible. Toward that end, they're starting a group aptly called ReTranslation for trans people to discuss alternative interpretations from what they've been taught.
Evans identifies both as non-binary and as a trans man, according to Premier. Some people have more than one gender identity because they don't feel that just one label captures who they are. Anybody who doesn't identify exclusively as male or female may consider themselves non-binary. "I am also enthusiastic about reclaiming the Bible from those who have tried to make it a weapon against those who are different," they said.
While not all congregations are accepting of LGBTQ people, several others have recently made headlines for taking leadership at their churches. Over in Illinois, the United Methodist Church appointed a transgender deacon earlier this year. And Rev. S. David Wynn, a trans pastor in Fort Worth, TX, recently spoke at a protest against Texas's anti-trans bathroom bill, saying, "In the beginning, God created humankind in God’s image. ... So God is transgender." There's still much more work to be done before LGBTQ people are accepted in all places of worship, but these leaders are paving the way for greater acceptance and more opportunities.